IGN recently posted about A Link Between Worlds, including new details about the game and some additional comments from our friend, Eiji Aonuma, about game difficulty in the Zelda series.

Have you ever felt bored playing a Zelda game? Did you feel like your hand was being held as you worked your way through the dungeons in a specific order? Well, Aonuma has listened to your concerns and had a few things to say about game difficulty. A Link Between Worlds doesn’t follow the traditional dungeon structure in Zelda games, and promises to be innovative and surprising. For example, the first dungeon requires that you rent items (a bow and a lamp) from a merchant wearing a rabbit hat who sets up shop in your cottage. The world of Hyrule itself is also completely open, without any fogged out or closed off areas. Aonuma said:

 “It came to mind that maybe the users have started to get bored with Zelda, the traditional Zelda, so we’d like to try to change that up. Where before you’d find items within a dungeon and then use those items to solve puzzles within that dungeon – and then, at least in Twilight Princess, possibly never use them again – here they are scattered around the overworld, and you won’t be collecting them in a specific order. You can actually rent or buy items, and then you can use them in the dungeons. You can actually explore any dungeon in any order, however you like. That’s the biggest change that we made.”

Aonuma also commented on the history of Zelda games. More specifically, he talked about how ALBW isn’t a remake, but as a sequel to A Link to the Past, its intimately connected to the series past. Despite that connection, ALBW abondons many of the conventions long-term Zelda fans are used to, addressing fan concerns about being “bored” when playing games in the series. Aonuma said:

“It isn’t a remake, but as a sequel to A Link to the Past it’s intimately connected to Zelda’s past. When we created Skyward Sword, by checking the internet and seeing comments people made about it, it came to mind that maybe the users have started to get bored with Zelda, the traditional Zelda. So we’d like to try and change that up. We thought then that it would be more important to implement a kind of hand-holding system, where users would always know what they were supposed to do. But maybe it’s different – perhaps  it’s also fun to just get lost in the game and try to figure out what to do by themselves… I’m really happy that I’ve managed to release a game with new features and a uniqueness to it.”

Although ALBW is going to be a unique and exciting adventure, there are still some parts of the game that pay homage to previous games in the series. For example, the opening echoes The Ocarina of Time, in that Link dreams of princess Zelda being snatched away by some nameless, looming, pig-shaped evil, and A Link to the Past, in which a dream leads Link through the Hyrule Castle gardens to the bowels of the castle, where Zelda sits captive. When you visit Hyrule Castle in ALBW, you will also see paintings depicting The Ocarina of Time, where the Seven Sages sealed Ganon away. Impa appears as an old woman in the game, and Dampe the gravekeeper also makes an appearance. Same goes for Sahasrahla from A Link to the Past.

As for some new details, IGN revealed that one of the earlier dungeons features torches, bats, and a level puzzle. There is also a lever puzzle that drops snakes on your head if you pick the wrong one. Later in the game, new villain Yuga appears and begins turning the descendants of the Seven Sages into paintings and stealing them away. Eventually, Link’s ability to transform himself into a painting is introduced.

It seems like Aonuma and the other developers have been able to create a Zelda game that is fresh and full of mysteries to discover. I can’t wait to explore everything that A Link Between Worlds has to offer!